War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0508 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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[CHAP. XLI.

HEADQUARTERS FIRST CORPS,

November 28, 1863.

Major-General HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Staff, Army of the Potomac:

The pickets I ordered advanced on my left report they cannot cross on account of the depth of mud and water. They also report a constant movement of the enemy toward our left.

Very respectfully,

JOHN NEWTON,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS THIRD ARMY CORPS,

November 28, 1863-1.20 p.m.

Major-General HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Staff:

I have been through the dense woods on the left of General Newton. There is no position whatever for artillery, which is lost in the woods. Infantry could not act as well as if massed in rear of the debouch, which they could enter and follow on a dark night or morning, excepting the troops on advance duty.

I have until informing you, placed my command on a cleared field to the rear of the left of Newton at the opening of the woods. The artillery will be posted there also. My headquarters are under a tree near a pile of rocks on the direct road from your headquarters, about 50 yards from a large barn and outhouses.

Respectfully,

WM. H. FRENCH.

[P. S.]- The hills in front of my position are covered with thick growth.

HEADQUARTERS THIRD ARMY CORPS,

November 28, 1863-1.45 p.m.

Major-General BIRNEY,

Commanding First Division:

GENERAL: You will send a working party to bridge Mine Run branch. You are also directed to send a reconnoitering party to see the position to be occupied by the corps on the heights beyond the branch at right angles with General Newton's corps.

By command of Major-General French:

O. H. HART,

Lieutenant-Colonel, Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS THIRD ARMY CORPS,

November 28, 1863-2 p.m.

Major-General HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Staff:

I am having a reconnaissance made of the ground across Mine Run; also a bridge to be built, and a corduroy in the swamp. As soon as this last is made the artillery can pass.

WM. H. FRENCH,

Major-General of Volunteers.